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In its quest for “a more perfect union, a more perfect world,” no less, President Barack Obama’s State Department has issued a “Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights” in the United States, in which it has tattled to the U.N. high commissioner about the errant ways of Arizona. On page 23 of this grandiosely titled bit of pomposity, under the heading “Values and Immigration,” it is stated:
“A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world. The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined.”
The reference here is to Arizona’s attempts to exercise its naturally licit right, and obligation, to protect its law-abiding citizens from the consequences of a full-on, lawless, frequently dangerous foreign invasion.
As the Mexican free-market economist Ricardo Valenzuela has argued, “The only thing that Arizona has done is to approve the laws they consider necessary to promote a civilized way of life for their societies. The new Arizona law doesn’t penalize immigration. The law only gives the police force the tools to secure the rule of law.” The difference between Arizona and Mexico, notes Valenzuela – who is concerned with retaining the conditions for prosperity in the U.S. and creating these in Mexico – is that the first enforces the rule of law and the latter doesn’t know the meaning of those words.
Face it, if not for the U.S. Supreme Court’s established hostility, over the years, to the Constitution’s original intent, to its 10th Amendment and to the devolution of powers not enumerated to the states and to their individual inhabitants – the federal government would have almost no role in deciding how porous the borders of the “free and independent states” ought to be.
“The Congress shall have Power To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”: This is as close as Section 8 of Article I in the Constitution of the United States comes to addressing what the Supreme Court has decided categorically speaks to immigration into the U.S.
Fifty-five delegates convened in 1787 at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to carve out the contours of this Constitution. Imagine those magnificent men making the case that the people of the colonies they represented ought to sit idle should their homesteads be overrun by trespassers and their families and friends imperiled. Imagine those very men arguing for a future central authority that acted as the sole arbiter in deciding who would breach the perimeters of their respective home patches.
If we lived in the old decentralized republic of absolute property rights, landowners in border communities would be policing and defending their properties and the commons. They’d have stopped the ongoing influx in its tracks. Whereas America’s modern-day community leader is suing Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for being a “bad gringo, a racist, and a bully”; community leaders in early America – as historian David Hackett Fischer tells it – often required an immigrant to furnish them with an affidavit from the Old Country, attesting to good character, before being permitted to settle among them.
In that republic of blessed memory, trespassers would never have made it past private landowners. Back in those days, when self-defense was not merely nominal, aliens traipsing and trashing land not theirs, as they now do with impunity, would have been repelled by landowners – by force. Thus would the habit have been extinguished for good.
Brussels is now the Mecca to which America turns for moral direction. Alas, around the time of the Constitutional Convention, King Leopold I of Belgium had not yet been born. But it is inconceivable to think of George Washington complaining, say, to King Louis XVI about (the heroic) whiskey rebels of west Pennsylvania for testing his tyrannical impulses.
The 10th Amendment center has a list of model legislative initiatives designed to help beat back America’s federales. Nullifying the Federal health-care act is one (thank you, Virginia, Utah and Idaho). Preventing the federal government from commandeering a state’s National Guard is another. Additional 10th-Amendment momentums include keeping the federal government from regulating state firearms, commerce, the use of honest money (gold, silver) and dope.
But more than anything, immigration is fueling the fever of freedom. For it plays out at the interstices of the most cherished of individual rights: the rights to life and property. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has, consequently, ruled that state law-enforcement officers are allowed to check the immigration status of those stopped or arrested legitimately. At least 11 other states have taken their cues from Cuccinelli, Gov. Jan Brewer, and 81 percent of the registered voters of Arizona, and are standing up to the president.
There are those who contend that any impetus to restrict immigration is always and everywhere predicated on aggression against non-aggressors. This is the case only if one believes that telling someone, “No, you can’t go there” is tantamount to violence.